I’m a sucker for cards.
Scattered all across the country are the sentimental offerings I’ve written between variously decorated sheets of cardboard. At birthdays and Christmas I write a variety of soppy and subtly embarrassing messages to the people around me.
It’s sort of inspired by a tradition in Japan. At New Year the Japanese send cards to everyone who’s helped them during the previous year. To all the people who’ve been kind or friendly. To workmates, friends, family and all those peripheral people that most of us never think twice about. The traditional greeting they use, roughly translated, goes something like this-
“Thankyou for all the kindness you have showed to me this year. I look forward to further kindnesses in the future.”
And that’s kind of what I do. I thank people for all the things I owe them for and anticipate the things we’ll share in the future. It sounds corny, and it almost certainly is, but I think its important too.
I’ve been thinking lately how incredibly lucky I am. This is a message to my family.
And more specifically, my mum.
I’ve often thought, when it comes to comedy, how weird it must be for some people to invite their mother to a show. Most of us harbour a certain shame when it comes to laughing at more adult jokes. There are some DVDs you wouldn’t watch with your parents. But when you’re the one performing in and writing those DVDs its got to be slightly inevitable. The same goes for quite a lot of novels.
We had cousins staying with us over Christmas. It was one of those times you when you suddenly see yourself through someone else‘s eyes. I realised that not only do my parents let me blast Tim Minchin at the house in general, they actually know quite a lot of the words. I can’t remember the last time I squirmed while watching something with them. And you know what? I’m incredibly lucky to have that. My mum and dad would support me not matter what I did.
When I was in Year 8 my mum told me it was ok if I failed and dropped down a maths class. If I was finding the top class too difficult this was for the best. This was one of many moments when people widened their eyes at me and said- “I wish I had your mum.” They were always proud of me for doing well but they’d have been equally proud if I’d only done ok. They didn’t even mind when I bombed the maths exam is Year 10 (for the record I dropped maths in Year 11 and am now barely able to count).
So thanks mum.
For tolerating my regularly ridiculous dreams and letting me believe that they are possible. For not telling me, when I was organising my overly ambitious work experience, that it was a bad idea. For coming with me to Sydney and helping me work out which bus to catch. For never telling me, even though everyone else did, that writing wasn’t a real career. That with my marks I could do anything. Thankyou for never asking me to reconsider.
Thanks for driving me all over the countryside in the ridiculously long period before I got my Ps. For financing my gap year adventures (I promise, one day, I’ll get a proper job.) For answering all my text messages about what I could cook with turkey mince, where you find noodles in Woolworths and all those times I was just lonely. Thanks for not getting too cross when I didn’t help you carry the groceries up the stairs because I was writing. And for tolerating my vagueness all the other times my mind was somewhere else.
Thanks for being the voice of reason when I needed it and spurring me on when reason didn’t really come into the situation. Thanks for reading me mind. And for secretly reading my blog.
Happy Mothers Day.